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Cullen is one and a half!

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

I’ve been working on this one for a couple of weeks (he was 18 months on July 22nd). I was a little slow to put the finishing touches on it and collect the photos. Now it is almost time to write Maddie’s 3.5 year letter. Whew. Here’s the latest letter to Cullen. (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 10jul11

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: I had a bunch of Toy Story toys that I collected from fast food places when the first movie came out. They have been hanging out at my office for a while. Since I’m moving offices at work, I decided it was time for them to find a new home. The kids were so excited today to each have their own Woody doll. I’m happy to see my kids find so much joy in the toys. I plan to let the kids have a new one periodically.

Something I’m thinking: We’re going to have a lot of fun this summer in the backyard kiddie pool!

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to get a dispute settled with the hotel in Atlanta that we had planned to stay in but didn’t. They claim that we not only didn’t cancel (which I swear we did), but we showed up and stayed for our entire stay! They have charged us accordingly. The worst part is that it is the most convenient hotel for our family when visiting my grandparents. It doesn’t seem like we’re going to ever be staying there again!

Something happening around the house: The cleaners came on Friday, but we’ve managed to make it look like home again.

Something I’m reading: I finished Dark Places for this week’s book club. I wasn’t really a fan.

Something I’m watching: We aren’t watching much right now.

Something I’m playing: This week, I played 7 Wonders a few times, 2-player Dominion with Gabe, and Ave Caesar. I wasn’t a fan of Ave Caesar. I don’t think I’ll be playing that one again! Gabe and I have also been playing LOTS of Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii. We figured that we better use the new Wii. We both started over on Super Mario Galaxy since neither of us finished the game when we played the first time. It was too hard to jump in mid-game when we couldn’t remember how the moves work.

Something tasty: For July 4th this week, we made red, white, and blue parfait out of jello, cool whip, and blueberries.

Something Maddie is doing (40 months old): We’ve started Maddie on her video game training. We tried to play a little Wii Sports with her, but that didn’t work out very well. We also tried to get her to collect star bits in Super Mario Galaxy. That was a little better, but it was still not going well. We broke down and ordered Crayola Treasures for the DS. She’s loving it and doing very well! She is on her way to being a video gamer after all. I don’t think she fully gets what the whole theater experience is going to be like, but we’ve been playing more of the original Winnie the Pooh to prep her for the movie. She also spotted her Winnie the Pooh costume the other day and wants to wear it around the house all the time. It’s too bad that the Winnie the Pooh movie wasn’t coming out in the winter. I’d have to let her wear the costume to the movies! Tonight, Maddie got out of her room at least 30 minutes after she went to bed. She was whispering between the railings down into our living room. I looked up and said, “Maddie, why are you out of bed? Do you need to potty?” She smiled all sweetly and said, “I just want Daddy.” And after saying she wanted Daddy a few times, she said, “I want Daddy because…because…because I love him.” Awww, how can Daddy say no to that one?

Something Cullen is doing (17 months old): It’s another eventful week for Cullen. Monday night, he slept from 8pm until 7:30am. So in addition to sleeping through the night (which he has never done), he slept later than he usually does. Sadly, he did not repeat this any nights the rest of the week. He is cutting another molar, so that might explain his extra fussiness a couple of days ago. In other big news, Monday was the last day that he has nursed. He didn’t seem to miss it at all for the first 3 or 4 days. He didn’t ask to nurse, and I didn’t offer for him to nurse. Then this weekend, he grabbed my shirt numerous times Friday, Saturday, and today. I tried to keep him distracted and busy and offer a straw cup of milk when he seemed to want to nurse. I wasn’t sad about it until the past couple of days. My goal was to nurse for around 18 months, and he will be 18 months soon. I’m happy with it, but it makes it harder to know that he’s missing it. When Maddie weaned, it was pretty easy. She didn’t seem to care and only wanted to nurse once after we quit. He is talking more and more. I know I say this every week, but it’s true! This week, he was putting together even more two word concepts and phrases. When he saw a new Elmo shirt we got for him, he pointed and said, “Elmo shirt! Elmo shirt!” He brought me a green car and said, “Green car!” He still often says, “I want that” or “I want milk” or other similar phrases. He brought Gabe an empty snack cup earlier this week and said, “Marshmallows, please!” He now gets a couple of marshmallows after a good dinner along with his sister. He says please a lot when he wants something (especially food). If we’re carrying him and he wants to get down, he’ll say, “I want to walk.” While in the car, he requested that we listen to Howlin’ for You by The Black Keys by saying, “Yat-ya song. again.” (Maddie and Cullen call that song the yat-ya song because of the chorus). He brought me a bottle of water and said, “drink it.” He says, “help me” when he needs help. The other day, he was laughing and making friends laugh and kept saying, “I’m funny.” He’ll bring us the TV remote and say, “Mickey!” and point it at the TV and start pushing buttons. He repeats EVERYTHING. And I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that we had a few days where we were getting reports of Cullen tackling other children. At first, they thought he might have been giving them hugs. The time he was sitting on another kid’s head was a bit questionable. Then, we got reports of him yanking kids off the horse or ride on toys when he wanted a turn. We haven’t gotten any aggressive reports lately.

Something I am struggling with: I’m struggling a little bit with weaning Cullen, but I feel like it’s the right time to stop. It has just been tough on me the last couple of days. I’m a little sad.

Something I’m looking forward to: Games night, possible Winnie the Pooh movie with Maddie (soon, anyway), playdate and dinner with friends.

Something captured: Our July 4th parfaits! They were YUMMY! I love how the flash bounced off the cups and made little starbursts that look like fireworks.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

Cullen is 14 months old!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

As of yesterday, Cullen is now 14 months old! He’s an amazing little boy, and we’re enjoying seeing all of his developments. It’s time for another letter to Cullen! (more…)

Cullen’s 11 month letter

Friday, January 7th, 2011

So….Cullen turned 11 months a few days before Christmas. With family visiting, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and a stomach bug, I haven’t had a chance to post the letter. I did write most of it just before Christmas, but it took me a bit longer to organize the photos. What else is new? So, here’s Cullen’s last monthly letter before he turns 1! (more…)

Happy 9 months to Cullen!

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Any time I think that the months cannot go by any quicker, they do. Life is pretty amazing with the kiddos. It’s time for another letter to Cullen! (more…)

Happy 18 months, Madeline!

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Something tells me that I should have stuck with these monthly letters…it’s going to take a while to sum up what has happened in the past THREE months. I can’t believe that my little girl is a year and a half already. Wow! (more…)

Night weaning the co-sleeper

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Gabe and I had come to several conclusions about co-sleeping, night nursing, and sleep in general. We felt like night weaning was necessary, but we didn’t want to make any changes before our cruise in May. We decided to take on the challenge during the first free weekend that we had after the cruise.

After several weeks of the new routine, things are looking quite promising. If you’re a regular reader, you should be well aware that Maddie is not the best sleeper. Up until recently, I have pretty much posted as a separate post each time that she has slept more than 6 hours in the past year! Let’s just say that these posts have in no way cluttered up the blog.

The first week of night weaning was rough. I had done quite a bit of reading on the subject, and one of the suggestions is to remove Mommy from the nighttime equation. Dr. Sears was one who makes this recommendation. So, I slept on the couch for that first week (and maybe almost one more week after that).

The first night involved quite a bit of loud crying when she awoke as usual at 11pm. We weren’t going to fight the co-sleeping battle at the same time (not to mention that the co-sleeping isn’t an issue exactly…the NOT sleeping is our issue. The constant nursing has recently been a bit of a problem as well.). Gabe would bring Maddie to the bed as usual, but I was unavailable. Maddie was not thrilled about this, and she cried and cried for Mommy. It was difficult for all of us since I was not far away in the other room. Gabe was finally able to get her back to sleep, and she woke several times throughout the night looking for me and crying about it. I joined the family in the bed at around 6am, which is a suitable time for nursing. Maddie nursed quite a bit at this point.

The next night, I was on the couch again and Maddie cried a little less when Daddy brought her to bed. I had my first night terror in a LONG time and was convinced that the couch was an unsafe place to continue my night (I couldn’t convince myself that the big spider that I saw wasn’t in my imagination, though I’m almost sure that it was). I went to the bed, and a little while later I had another night terror. This time I was pretty sure that the same (or similar) spider crawled over Maddie onto Gabe. I have no idea how I was able to convince myself that it was a night terror and my imagination and NOT REAL. But I did, despite the fact that I thought it entirely possible that the spider had gotten trapped in my hair and followed me to the bed. I tried to push that thought away in my head and went back to sleep.

Maddie woke up several times, and it was rough to deny her requests to nurse. She cried a lot. I tried to comfort her in other ways. I told her that we would nurse when the sun comes up. I held her off until the light came through the windows. Things went a lot smoother when I was on the couch. She was upset the previous night, but not as upset as she was when I was there and I denied her requests to nurse! Oh, and on top of the two night terrors, I dreamed that the whole family was in a plane crash (fortunately, we somehow survived as we crashed on water and we were trying to figure out how to get off of the plane and into the rafts). Can you say stressful!?

Maddie nursed a lot at 6am, and she also nursed more than usual during the day on both Saturday and Sunday (we started on Friday night).

The third night, Gabe and I went to a movie while Aunt Kristin babysat. We were shocked when we came home and found Kristin in the living room without Maddie! When Kristin took her to her room, Maddie requested to be put in the crib. Kristin patted Maddie for a few minutes, and she went to sleep. We were even more shocked when she didn’t wake for almost 6 hours!!! She had not done that in ages. I slept on the couch, and Maddie didn’t even cry when Gabe took her to the bed. We were starting to see definite progress, but we weren’t ready to get our hopes up just yet. Once again, I joined the bed at 6am and Maddie nursed a lot.

We encountered some setbacks over the next few nights as our efforts were poorly timed. She FINALLY cut her 3rd tooth and seems like she may be getting the 4th at any moment. A few nights were rough due to the teething, presumably.

After those few awful days, we got into a routine. Maddie was fairly easily soothed by Daddy when waking up and coming to the bed. At first, she woke up in the crib and was ready for our bed around the same time as usual, shortly before midnight. She threw in a few 5 and 6 hour stretches for good measure and even a few 7 hour stretches. Things have certainly been improving. About two weeks into the night weaning, she slept a miraculous 10 hours straight! She has not repeated this feat, but we finally have hope.

Aside from last week’s midweek fever and ear infection (awful, awful nights), her worst nights have involved a 5 hour stretch of sleep. This may not sound like much to many of you, but for Maddie this is huge. She’s added more 7 hour stretches to her record. Sometimes, we have to go upstairs and pat her once or twice to get her back to sleep, but this was something that wasn’t even possible two months ago. Usually if she woke up, she would not accept any answer except “take me to your bed.” Attempting to pat her back to sleep and get her back into the crib resulted in a Maddie who wanted to stay awake for two hours. It typically wasn’t worth the risk.

She has been difficult to get to sleep initially on many nights. For example, as I am writing this Gabe is upstairs putting Maddie to bed, and she is protesting (I’ll likely schedule this to post on a different day as I usually do!). She’s very tired and needs her sleep, but she fights it very hard!

She doesn’t ask to nurse when she gets into the bed, and I’m able to sleep in my bed all night (hooray!). She sometimes wants to be very, very close to me (even laying on my chest like she did when she was a newborn), especially when she’s sick. Other times, she doesn’t even seem to know that I’m there! I’m not complaining one bit about the co-sleeping. I know I’ll miss it when she sleeps the entire night in her crib, but I’m not going to complain either. For now, I’m happy to get some extra sleep and my morning snuggles. It’s a very sweet compromise.

The Sunday Somethings, March 22

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

It’s already time again for The Sunday Somethings! Let us know if you want to join us, and we’ll to link to you. Be sure to check out Audrey‘s blog for her installment this week.

Something that made me smile this week: Gabe and I both have our own sink in our master bathroom, each with our own identical, decorative soap pump. When one of us runs out of soap, we play a little game where we swap our soap pump with the other’s presumably non-empty soap pump. Throughout the next few days, we will find that the other has switched the pumps again. This amuses me. I think that we determined Gabe started it this time. He said to me earlier this week after several such exchanges, “so, I see we’re playing the soap game again.” Funny.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking that I really need to finish Maddie’s thank you notes from her birthday party. I’ve been meaning to do them for a while, and I’ve decided that I better get them finished by the end of today. Maybe I should add it to my goals list, ha!

Something I am hoping: I am hoping that our trip to Bermuda in May is a success! I can’t believe that we’re actually booked on a cruise with just the 3 of us. It’s exciting, but it’s a little bit scary to think about how Miss Maddie will handle the travel. I’m thinking positively and hoping that we’re going to make some wonderful memories. I know Maddie won’t remember it, but I will…and we’ll always have photos.

Something happening around the house: Well, on Wednesday night, we thought that we had our first toy-in-the-toilet incident. We had some major issues with the toilet overflowing and the plunger not helping. Something very solid and small was stuck down there, and we never did discover what it was. We thought that a Little People figure could be to blame, but a rudimentary Little People census reveals that all are present in our town. We think.

Something I’m reading: I’m still reading The Book Thief for April for my regular book club.

Something tasty I ate this week: Yesterday, at a birthday party for one-year-old twins, I ate some jicama. I don’t recall whether I’ve ever tasted jicama, but it was tasty!

Something Maddie did this week: Maddie and I visited her toddler class together for the first time this week. I was excited to meet her teachers and see the toddler room. She has been visiting their classroom for a while, and she even participated in music class with them this week.

Something I struggled with this week: I’m still struggling with the same thing that I mentioned last week. Maddie is weaning from her lunchtime nursings, and I was so sad on the two days this week that I did not visit her at all. I still plan to visit her frequently, even when she isn’t nursing. I have to admit that it will be nice to have some extra flexibility, too.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m actually creating my life goals list. More information on them coming soon! I had a tough time getting started, but once I got going, I kept thinking of more and more to add to my list. I’m hoping to finish up the goals database later today and get them published to the website.

Something I’m looking forward to next week: Regular book club on Wednesday night and our conference with Maddie’s new toddler teacher on Thursday morning!

Something I captured: This was taken just yesterday, after we returned from the twins’ birthday party. Hooray for Spring (well, sorta, it’s still a little cool…)!

Happy Lucky 13 Months, Miss Maddie!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Time for another monthly installment of letters to Maddie. Enjoy. (more…)

Happy 1st Birthday, Sweet “Baby” Girl

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I think that I will continue with these letters each month until I don’t have enough to say in a month. Somehow, I think it’s going to be a long time before that happens. (more…)